This is the first trial in France in the case of the “ill-gotten gains”: Teodorin Obiang, accused of fraudulently built in France, a considerable wealth, was called Monday, by the voice of one of his lawyers, the postponement of the hearing.
Mr. Obiang did not appear personally at the courthouse. After the beginning of the hearing devoted to technical points of procedure, the criminal court began hearing the advice of the accused, Emmanuel Marsigny, for which the times are “much too short”.
The court is expected to rule in the afternoon on this request of deferral, which for William Bourdon, the lawyer of the association Transparency International, which had filed a complaint in 2007, is a new attempt”to escape the threat to them”.
furthermore, the president has stressed that she questioned the consequences on the trial, scheduled until 12 January, a proceeding before the international Court of justice (ICJ) at the initiative of equatorial Guinea, which challenges the validity of the prosecution against Mr. Obiang.
Former minister of Agriculture and forests, promoted at the end of June by her father, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, vice-president of the small oil country in central Africa, it is prosecuted before the correctional court of Paris for money laundering misuse of corporate assets, misappropriation of public funds, abuse of confidence and corruption.
The investigation, opened after complaints of associations, Sherpa and Transparency International, highlighted the considerable wealth of Teodorin Obiang, 47 years: building on avenue Foch, in one of the most exclusive areas of Paris, estimated at 107 million euros, luxury cars and of sport (Porsche, Ferrari, Bentley, Bugatti).
His spending lavishly in France were very remote from the daily lives of its gulf of Guinea countries, of which more than half of the residents live below the poverty line.
- the Money “earned legally” -
When he was in Paris, Teodorin Obiang, the eternal bachelor look learnedly studied (black glasses, big slick hair, beard cut), expense cases, entire liquid in the boutiques of the avenue Montaigne. In his apartment in the avenue Foch, the faucets are covered in gold leaf, the master of the house has a hammam, a gym, a nightclub, a hairdressing salon, a cinema room.
At the end of the statement, the judges were of the view that it has built its heritage in France, investing the proceeds of “misappropriation of public funds”, of corruption.
the son of The president of equatorial guinea “has always said that he earned lawfully his money in his country”, assures Me Marsigny.
Between 2004 and 2011, almost € 110 million from the public Treasury of equatorial Guinea came to credit the personal account of Teodorin Obiang, according to the judges of instruction.
The investigators believe that he had imposed a “tax revolution” on the wood, the payment of which, in the name of the Somagui Forestal, he should be directly delivered. This company is responsible for the exploitation of the precious wood that is with oil, one of the main wealth of the country. Controlled by Teodorin Obiang, it also ensured that many of its expenses.
The accused has multiplied the avenues of appeal. Put in review in 2014, he has tried in vain to cancel the proceedings against him, invoking his status at the time of second vice president of equatorial Guinea which gave to his eyes a immunity.
But the Court of cassation had considered that the facts complained of had been committed “for personal reasons”, under its privacy and thus detachable of state functions protected by customary international law.
The French judicial inquiry also on the built heritage assets in France by the families of several other african leaders, that of Denis Sassou Nguesso (Congo), of the deceased Omar Bongo (Gabon), or even the president of the central african republic’s deposed François Bozizé.
02/01/2017 16:01:50 – Paris (AFP) – © 2017 AFP